Just a bunch of lost kids trying to get found, Not So Local’s latest movie, Dead End, is the story of the turning point that shaped the crew’s relationship with the lifestyle related to skiing.
Who wrote the voice over for Dead End?
Myself, LC Pilon, Not so Local’s Director. The most important thing for me while writing the narration was to present in the best way possible to audiences a story only understood by the ones who took part in it. I remember having a lot of problems with thoughts of people never really understanding the film because they couldn’t relate to it. Therefore, it was very important for me to make in depth interviews with the members of the crew and to question myself to portray challenges that skiers could relate to. Once I finally made sense of my thoughts, the writing process took place in the plane on the way back from Whistler and while taking some time off in North Carolina.
Who did the majority of the editing? Tell us about the process.
The editing process was definitely the most challenging part of putting together Dead End. The entire post-production was done by myself and I often ask myself why I spend ridiculous amounts of time on this part of the process. However, I find that looking back at the final result and the message we were able to bring to audiences, not only it is all worth it but it is also what differentiates Not so Local. As for the process, it is impossible to tell a story before it happens. With the idea of filming a documentary, it’s after looking at the acquired visuals that we build a storyline. I’m not going to lie, building the Dead End story was extremely challenging… and it is still not perfect! After the general segments are established, the soundtrack is created, the montage is made and finally, the narration completes the project. Shout out to my brother and my father for having to hear the audio mix and my voice over and over for the whole summer!
Was this your first year getting invited to iF3?
Believe it or not, our first iF3 experience as the Not so Local crew was in 2014 with our film entitled ‘’Foreign Affair’’ (https://vimeo.com/111950776). I remember heading out to the awards ceremony alone right after class just to see if Leigh Powis was going to win best editing for ‘’The Recruitment’’. He did, but that’s not the point, right before, when they announced the nominees for the amateurs, they mentioned Foreign Affair, a party film that we made purely out of passion. I was alone at the bar and I remember letting out a big WTF and started laughing because that’s the last thing I was expecting. It was at that moment that I saw that we had something the people liked and that sparked the motivation for Dead End. The same spark came in 2015 when we actually won ‘’Best Editing’’ with ‘’Dead End’’. Except that time, I was definitely drunk and far from alone. In fact, spilling drinks and being surrounded with the crew on the stage was the best moment of our lives, even if our films never got shown to the IF3 audience.
When is a good time to use slow motion? Quick cuts?
It’s a good time to use slow motion when putting emphasis on something. It can’t all be slowmo and it can’t all be real time. Playing with speed influences the dynamic of the film and if the process is well done, it will keep the audience captivated. I often hear people say that the Not so Local films felt shorter that they actually are and the use of speed plays a big part in this.
For the editor, using quick cuts is an effective way to transition between two sets, situations, features or tricks. Quick cuts create build ups, which are in my opinion mandatory to create excitement. Also, for Not so Local, rhythm is VERY important and quick cuts seal the bond between image and music, a priority for us.
How important is it to have more than one filmer when shooting?
Obviously, having more than one filmer is best but it is not always possible. For bigger features that have a lot of travel distance, perspective is important. Having many angles allows a better understanding of the feature and adds production value to a project. As urban spots get gnarlier, it is often a one try spot. We learnt this year that once you are satisfied with a shot, unless it is necessary, you move on. In fact, Nicky Hartmann ran back up the feature after getting the wide angle shot to hit it again for a zoom shot. As we speak, we are still waiting on the MRI results but it was definitely not worth it.
What makes you guys different than all the other film crews out there?
What makes Not so Local different from the other crews is the apparent bond between its actual members. The crew was created in 2014, right before we headed out west, as a way of linking together east coast skiers wanting to experiment the western ski scene. Being together in a foreign province developed a family type vibe that made our crew extremely well founded. Later on, just like every family, we got bigger and started our international expansion. We litterally have family in all continents which we find is a great advantage.
As a crew, having developed such a bond between us, our most interesting aspect is the fact that we rely only upon ourselves for every objective we have. We support ourselves financially (although it is rough) and we feel no sponsor or outside help is necessary. That being said, we feel that hard work defines the effort we put not only in our personal lives but also in our projects. After all, although it maybe seems easy, it is extremely hard to let go of your comfort zone and move across the country with no apparent ressources.
One more thing, we want to be known collectively AS A CREW and not on personal levels. We never discriminate and invite everyone who’s willing to shred with us with open arms. We might even get you drunk. We are the people’s crew.
What’s the plan for this year’s movie?
After winning ‘’Best Editing’’ last year, the plan is to definitely step it up not only in the quality of skiing but also in production. Whistler budgets this year were lowered to invest in fresh camera gear and local travel. Some of the crew returned west but the majority stayed on the east coast. It was then a common agreement to shoot a maximum of urban shots on the east coast while we were all here. We pretty much whipped out drones and high speed cams and translated our trademark lifestyle oriented productions to the streets and local expeditions. However, it is clear to us that Whistler, being our native ground, will have a place in our next feature.
You can expect a definite presence at IF3 in september, classic Not so Local editing and vibe, BIG urban, a good soundtrack, production quality and a new way of portraying crew life. Without spoiling the surprise, we really feel that this year’s movie will be one to remember.
Also, we are currently working with Jeremy Pancras to produce various parc segments. Stay tuned.
Are you guys still riding at resorts?
Riding resorts has always been a big part of Not so Local as there are not a lot of urban features to be hit in Whistler. Obviously by staying out east, our priority is to spend as much time in the streets but we try not to neglect riding in resorts because that is where we have the most fun. We usually shoot urban during the week and end up spending our weekends at our home mountain. However, in spring, as soon as we wrap our urban features, you will find us in Whistler for a fourth time, enjoying parc laps and spring shoots.
What is Newschoolers bringing to the table?
In october as the season was approaching and there was not much to do, Nicky started helping out at the Newschoolers HQ here in Montreal. The months leading up to the holidays can be quite intense in the ski industry considering it’s main sales season so it was a great time for him to see how everything was rolling at the office. We eventually ended up talking about bringing back park updates and with Not so Local directing and Nicky as an athlete, it was the perfect match. We quickly teamed up with Tremblant (https://vimeo.com/153107258) which was really cool for all of us. Newschoolers has brought so much to the freeski community and it’s awesome to have them here in Montreal.
PS: Shouts to Doug Bishop and Travis Towsley for keeping the shred alive every day!
Facebook: Not So Local